“Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.”
James Bay, 22, is from Hitchin, UK. He brings his twist to the music of his heroes Carole King, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne and James Taylor.
NoiseTrade: Your first single “Move Together” seems to either be an intensely personal story or a fantastically deceptive work of fiction. Did you write it to be creative or cathartic?
James Bay: My best songs are always the most honest ones. I try and stick to things that are going on in my life; all the feelings and emotions that I really need to express. So yeh, I definitely had something to get off my chest when I wrote “Move Together.”
SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration. Source: themetapicture.com
“One of the saddest realities is most people never know when their lives have reached the summit. Only after it is over and we have some kind of perspective do we realize how good we had it a day, a month, five years ago. The walk together in the December snow, the phone call that changed everything, that lovely evening in the bar by the Aegean. Back then you thought “this is so nice”. Only later did you realize it was the rarest bliss.”
~ JFK, May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963
Image Source: Dopediamond
WHAT IS IT?
WHAT IS IT?
GET IT OFF!
GET IT OFF!
GET IT OFF!
It started in the shower.
Stomach sour – doing loop de loops.
Late November, 1980s.
The morning shower is followed by a long walk in the dark from the dorm.
Square into the teeth of a wicked Northern Michigan wind.
Mitts. Goose down coats. Parkas. Sorel boots.
Students filing in for the 8:00 am class.
I find a seat in the middle-back. Need to get invisible.
I’m below the stoners and the drunks, adorned with hoodies.
I’m above the whizz-bangs, a**-kissers and kids with coke bottle glasses.
Three weeks earlier the Professor kicks off his class with ground rules.
“A full letter grade is determined by your class participation, frequency and quality.”
Red Pencil in hand.
He’d put a tick mark next to each name who’s hand would go up.
He’d hang over his journal scribbling after a noteworthy comment.
And shredded in half.
One half with head down to avoid being called on.
The other half, The Angry Man – a full letter grade down before taking a single exam.
Our sneakers dripping with mid morning dew.
We’d reach the plateau.
Our eyes held in rapture.
Not just any Green. An ethereal magnificence.
In Spring, it was an unfurling of a carpet on the forest floor.
In Summer, the ferns rose.
They climbed, fed by hard, warm rains.
Knee-high under the cover of deciduous trees.
Chest-high in clearings.
Emitting an earthy fragrance, fresh and cooling, filling our lungs.
In Autumn, Green gave way to a harvest of Gold.
Tips of fiddleheads crumbling as we batted them with our hands in our climb.
Rising particles of fine dust in air behind us.
We’d reach the creek.
A trickle now.
We’d kneel down, the moss cushioning our knees.
Lips rushing to slurp the cool water.
Pausing to catch our breath.
And, then back.
Back down the mountainside.
Our footprints cutting shadows through the ferns.
Leaving their imprints etched in our consciousness.
It’s so close.
So close today, 40 years later.
Thousands of miles away.
I close my eyes,
My skin tingles from the coolness under the canopy.
The Canadian Cascades lingering in my nostrils.
There it is.
The Sea of Green.
“You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all, just as an intelligence without the possibility of expression is not really an intelligence. Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing.”
Related Posts: Running Series.
A trip through North-Western Italy in October wrapped in The Four Seasons by Vivaldi.
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
Called out of ourselves by the scent of a wild rose, the stunning yellow spike of goldenrod – and we answer back
“Crickets call to the east. A chopper ratchets a mile to the west. I sit in the middle, my left ear seduced by the soft cadence, the evershifting song of crickets in spring. My right ear is hollowed out, hard, both braced against and invaded by the clipped din of machinery. I am beginning to cry. I have felt the breath and nudge of the Dreamtime and know that it is beyond my threshold of perception, just beyond my reach, just a slip of consciousness away. I long for my serpentine thirst to be quenched by the dreaming, long for the look and feel of ultimate belonging and the sensuous play of being embedded, in bed with the world, dug in and dirty. But the phone rings, my endless list of things to do nags, haunts, and fills my consciousness. I too perceive the invisibles. In this case, they are mostly petty preoccupations- the trip I must make to Safeway, the phone calls I must return, the mail piling up- and the fact of my father, growing old, alone, 3,000 miles away. A phone call to him does not appear on my list. I feel such sadness as daily obligations fill my badgered view. I go blind in order to forget. The daily demands of our lives cause us to narrow our field of vision, shaping and minimizing our view to match a preoccupation with phones and texts or a long list of tasks that are never complete.Then in unconscious defense against the onslaught of modern business as usual, we further minimize the sensations we receive with self-inflicted doses of numbing. Most of us, I dare say, are numb to varying degrees, and for good reasons. This state of being is what James Hillman calls ‘anesthesia.’ Anesthetized, we no longer gasp in sudden wonder, inspire or become inspired as the beauty of the world enters us, for we are artificially numbed. David Abram calls this state ‘collective myopia,’ implying that we see little beyond our comfortable and constrained personal environments, we lack depth perception. When awakened, perception is motivated, like a hunger of the body. And like lovers, our sensing and sensual bodies are fed on sound and scent, feasted by late afternoon light. Because we hunger for the eroticism such sensation affords our bodies, we are pleased to be called out of ourselves by the scent of a wild rose, the stunning yellow spike of goldenrod- and we answer back.”
~ Laura Sewall
“I wouldn’t describe myself as lacking in confidence, but I would just say that … the ghosts you chase you never catch.”
John Gavin Malkovich, 59, was born in Christopher, Illinois. His paternal grandparents were Croatian. He is an American actor, producer, director, and fashion designer. Over the last 30 years of his career, Malkovich has appeared in more than 70 motion pictures. For his roles in Places in the Heart and In the Line of Fire, he received Academy Award nominations. He has also appeared in critically acclaimed films such as Empire of the Sun, The Killing Fields, Dangerous Liaisons, Of Mice and Men, Being John Malkovich, and RED, and has produced numerous films, including Juno and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Image Source: Youreyesblazeout
“Some things occur just by chance. Mark Twain was born on the day that Halley’s comet appeared in 1835 and died on the day it reappeared in 1910. There is a temptation to linger on a story like that, to wonder if there might be a deeper order behind a life so poetically bracketed. For most of us, the temptation doesn’t last long. We are content to remind ourselves that the vast majority of lives are not so celestially attuned, and go about our business in the world. But some coincidences are more troubling, especially if they implicate larger swathes of phenomena, or the entirety of the known universe. During the past several decades, physics has uncovered basic features of the cosmos that seem, upon first glance, like lucky accidents. Theories now suggest that the most general structural elements of the universe — the stars and planets, and the galaxies that contain them — are the products of finely calibrated laws and conditions that seem too good to be true. What if our most fundamental questions, our late-at-night-wonderings about why we are here, have no more satisfying answer than an exasperated shrug and a meekly muttered ‘Things just seem to have turned out that way’?
It can be unsettling to contemplate the unlikely nature of your own existence, to work backward causally and discover the chain of blind luck that landed you in front of your computer screen, or your mobile, or wherever it is that you are reading these words. For you to exist at all, your parents had to meet, and that alone involved quite a lot of chance and coincidence. If your mother hadn’t decided to take that calculus class, or if her parents had decided to live in another town, then perhaps your parents never would have encountered one another. But that is only the tiniest tip of the iceberg. Even if your parents made a deliberate decision to have a child, the odds of your particular sperm finding your particular egg are one in several billion. The same goes for both your parents, who had to exist in order for you to exist, and so already, after just two generations, we are up to one chance in 1027. Carrying on in this way, your chance of existing, given the general state of the universe even a few centuries ago, was almost infinitesimally small. You and I and every other human being are the products of chance, and came into existence against very long odds…”
Read more @ Aeon Magazine by Tim Maudlin: The Calibrated Cosmos: Why Does The Universe Appear Fine Tuned For Life?
And I loved this one too by Mark Morford: 40 Billion Ways to Dance.
No new Caleb Camel shares today. How disappointing that our well has run dry on Hump Day. This clip, though, has captured my attention. 12x. And we think our jobs have a few challenges…
It opened with the intention of a feather-light, human touch of good will.
And it hasn’t closed.
Like a snag on your favorite sweater that you keep pulling and pulling.
It was 4 weeks ago.
End to end it couldn’t have lasted more than 7 seconds.
She’s an executive assistant on another floor.
I was passing by to get to a meeting. In a hurry. (“‘Only the sick man and the ambitious,’ wrote Ortega, ‘are in a hurry.’” DK: Which one are you?)
“Good morning x?”
“Really Dave, you’ve worked with me for how long, 5-10 years? And you still don’t know my name.”
“I’m so sorry,” stealing a glance at her name plate. She caught the glance. Damage done. Twice, in seconds.
Later that week, I pass by her desk. And pause.
She talking to a colleague.
“I refuse to speak to him.”
He turns to me: “Wow, what have you done to her?”
Colaianni’s whispers: “When I hear my own name, I have as much a sense of it entering my body through my back or my hand or my chest as through my ears… “
Note to Self: And when I don’t hear my own name or someone calls me by the wrong name, I have as much a sense of it entering my body through the back of their hand to my face, my chest, the back of my head…
“All things are engaged in writing their history. The planet, the pebble, goes attended by its shadow. The rolling rock leaves its scratches on the mountain, the river, its channel in the soil, the animal, its bones in the stratum, the fern and leaf, their modest epitaph in the coal. The falling drop makes its sculpture in the sand or the stone. Not a foot steps into the snow or along the ground, but prints, in characters more or less lasting, a map of its march. Every act of the person inscribes itself in the memories of its fellows, and in his own manners and face. The air is full of sounds, the sky of tokens, the ground is all memoranda and signatures, and every object covered over with hints which speak to the intelligent.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Credits: Portrait: Stephan Vanfleteren. Emerson quote – Thank you Makebelieveboutique. Shakespeare Quote for blog title “What’s in a name?” – Soulsentences. Ortego quote: George Sheehan – Running & Being. Louis Colaianni quote from The Joy of Phonetics and Accents.
“But please remember, I don’t sit around wondering how people see the world, or how they feel about things. I don’t attempt to express their feelings. I only write about the way I feel. I mean, I’m not arbitrator of public tastes or opinion. I don’t have a following of people who are waiting for my next word. I hope I never have that kind of following. People should be waiting for their own next word, not mine.”
- Elvis Costello
“At five, I had the intuitive, instinctive faith that my cosmos, my family and the world were good and true and beautiful. That somehow I had always been and always would be. And I knew in a way of a five-year-old that I had worth and dignity and individuality. Later, when I read Nietzsche’s statement that these are not given to us by nature but are tasks that we must somehow solve, I knew him to be wrong. We all had them once.”
~ George Sheehan, Running & Being
- Related Posts: George Sheehan bio and quote - Uneasiness. Inquietude. There is work to be done.
- Image Source. Thank you Mme Scherzo
20 October 1944
US Army Air Force Base
I hoped I would never write this to you. In a little less than an hour, I’ll be strapping myself into my old plane and pointing my nose westward. I’ve seen the orders. I think it will be for the last time. And, so, suddenly I find my life stripped away, like the branches of an old, black tree. All that matters is that I write this to you.
I know that you won’t remember me. Not really. When I spent three days with you last year when you were 6 months old, and although you can’t yet understand it, I loved you more then than you might imagine loving anybody right now.
Now listen to me. This Life, know that it is precious. You’ve got to grasp it, every little whiff of it that passes by you. It won’t be easy. It won’t be certain. Not now. Not in your unimaginable future. Don’t be surprised. No, embrace the stiff winds and the lonely heights. Remember your name. Never turn away from the right course because it’s hard. Above all, love. Scrape out the bottom of your soul. And love for all you’re worth. And when you find her, risk everything. Die a thousand deaths to get her. Don’t look back. When you grow older, older than I’ll ever be, blow on the embers of that first heroic choice. You’ll be warmed, sustained.
Some day, you’ll have a son, remember, he’s your greatest gift. Tell him these things. Make a man of him. Love him. Don’t live to get money. Have a few things, but make them good things. Take care of them. Learn how they work. There is beauty in the smell of good machines and old leather.
When you walk, alone, in the autumn, down roads at night, with trees tossing in the sunset, know that I would give everything to walk with you and tell you their names. But I there, in the light, through the branches, and I’m loving you where I see you.
I must go now. All my love. For ever and ever.
I peek at the weather app before I step outside.
“34° F. Feels like 26° F. Partly Cloudy.”
Winter closing in.
I yank my Tuque over my ears.
I glance at the mirror.
The Black Avenger: Back for an encore.
Black Tuque. Black jacket. Black pants.
And Red Shoes.
I cue up my David Gray playlist.
Open the door.
And head to the street.
How often does it happen?
Just the right song cycles up.
65 David Gray songs resting.
Waiting for their turn.
And it pops up.
A bubbling geyser.
It starts slowly.
Starting from way down deep.
And surging upward.
No chemical inducements.
↓ click for audio (David Gray: “Everytime”)
Down from the doorway
And into the street
I hear the morning bell
Over and over the pattern repeat
I hear the morning bell
And all the faces cold as stone
In the January chill…
~ David Gray, Everytime [Read more...]
“I’m sick of watching the shirts with sleeves hang lonesome in my closet, I want to put them on and let you take them off. I want to wear the kinds of things that don’t slip off in an instant, the kinds of things with zippers and buttons and layers and depth. I want to feel soft, I want the comfort of a comforter, I want to spend Saturdays in bed with all the windows open.
I want to spend Sundays in cars with the windows open, too, driving to fields where apples and pumpkins grow. I want to taste the thick of fall in my mouth, in pies and brews and hot coffee. I want confusion over whether or not to wear a jacket and confusion over what hue that tree was three weeks ago, I want everything to change so that I can feel like there’s reason to be alert, like there’s a reason to wake up again.”
Notes: SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration. Image Source: HungarianSoul
“Sixteen thousand—that’s how many words we speak, on average, each day. So imagine how many unspoken ones course through our minds. Most of them are not facts but evaluations and judgments entwined with emotions—some positive and helpful…others negative and less so (He’s purposely ignoring me; I’m going to make a fool of myself; I’m a fake).
The prevailing wisdom says that difficult thoughts and feelings have no place at the office: …leaders, should be either stoic or cheerful; they must project confidence and damp down any negativity bubbling up inside them. But that goes against basic biology. All healthy human beings have an inner stream of thoughts and feelings that include criticism, doubt, and fear. That’s just our minds doing the job they were designed to do: trying to anticipate and solve problems and avoid potential pitfalls.
…Leaders stumble not because they have undesirable thoughts and feelings—that’s inevitable—but because they get hooked by them, like fish caught on a line. This happens in one of two ways. They buy into the thoughts, treating them like facts (It was the same in my last job…I’ve been a failure my whole career), and avoid situations that evoke them (I’m not going to take on that new challenge). Or, usually at the behest of their supporters, they challenge the existence of the thoughts and try to rationalize them away (I shouldn’t have thoughts like this…I know I’m not a total failure), and perhaps force themselves into similar situations, even when those go against their core values and goals (Take on that new assignment—you’ve got to get over this). In either case, they are paying too much attention to their internal chatter and allowing it to sap important resources that could be put to better use. [Read more...]
“To the age-old question of “what do women want,” Lay’s thinks it has an answer: Chocolate-covered potato chips. This month, Lay’s is rolling out milk chocolate-covered potato chips. The chipmaker says the salty-sweet combo is tailor-made for young women, who apparently can’t get enough of the stuff. Lay’s senior director of marketing, noted: “the increasing popularity of chocolate-covered snacks among our target audience, millennial women. … They are looking for those more indulgent, savory/sweet combinations.” The product’s debut will officially be a trial run, but the product could become a permanent part of the Lay’s arsenal if shoppers love them. As for other chocolate-covered chip combinations, “the possibilities could be endless,” says Saenz. (Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek: “Men Like Potato Chips. Women Like Chocolate. Who Will Like Chocolate Potato Chips?“)
The possibilities could be endless. Right. Got it. May this NOT come to a store near me…Please.
Source: Thank you Steve Layman